Photo by Heather Middleton
By Curt Yeomans
With the Christmas shopping season officially under way, Harry Potter, Curious George, Strawberry Shortcake and the Transformers will go on sale at the headquarters branch of the Clayton County Library System.
The library system is kicking off its weeklong, winter half-off Scholastic Book Fair at its headquarters branch in Jonesboro this afternoon, with a collection that library system Assistant Director of Youth Services Janice Arcuria described as one of the largest the system has ever offered.
The book fair will feature a selection that includes 21 cases of books, and nearly a dozen tables covered in books.
"This is probably the biggest, or definitely one of the biggest, book fairs we've ever hosted," Arcuria said. "If we had anymore books, I don't think we could have found a place to put them."
The library system holds three book fairs a year at the headquarters branch to benefit the system's summer reading program. Scholastic will give the library system books worth a total of 10 percent of the sales proceeds of the book fair, Arcuria said. She said the books the system gets from Scholastic will be used as prizes for students who read either 18 books, or for at least nine hours, as part of the summer reading program.
Arcuria is projecting the library system will need 2,100 books to give away in the summer of 2010, based on last summer's 1,913 readers who earned a free book.
The selection of books available at the book fair includes children's books, books in Spanish, cookbooks, and books for teens.
Since it is a half-off book fair, many books will cost less than $10, Arcuria said. Paperback books will cost $2 to $3, and hardback books will cost up to $10, she said.
"If a person only has enough money for one book, or if a child brings in some change to buy someone, a brother or sister, a Christmas present, we'll probably have something they can afford," Arcuria said.
The book fair is scheduled to open today at 3:30 p.m., although Arcuria said set-up was going quickly on Monday and library officials may be able to open the fair earlier in the afternoon. She recommended patrons call the headquarters branch library at (770) 473-3850 to check on today's opening time.
Once the book fair opens today, it will remain open until 8:30 p.m. On Wednesday and Thursday, the fair will be open from 9:30 a.m., to 8:30 p.m. It will also be open from 9:30 a.m., to 5:30 p.m., on Friday; 9:30 a.m., to 4:30 p.m., on Saturday; 1:30 to 5 p.m., on Sunday, and 9:30 a.m., to 8:30 p.m., on Monday.
The headquarters library is located at 865 Battle Creek Road, in Jonesboro.